CFB Esquimalt sailor says he was beaten aboard HMCS Regina

A CFB Esquimalt sailor says he was badly beaten while working aboard HMCS Regina this spring and that the navy failed to respond appropriately.

Cpl. Christopher Frame filed a notice of civil claim at the B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, just over a week after the frigate returned home from an eight-month mission at sea.

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In the claim, Frame describes an incident about halfway through the deployment in which he said he was assaulted and injured by a co-worker.

Frame, a Victoria resident and full-time member of the forces since 2010, worked as a cook aboard the ship. In March, he went to an officer about a dilemma involving another cook. He said he heard the reservist seaman was spreading rumours about him regarding tampering with the man’s laptop. Senior officers tried to mediate. Frame said he did not tamper with the laptop, but his colleague insisted on an apology.

Later that month, Frame said, he was in the mess changing his uniform when he was attacked by his co-worker and badly beaten. In the claim, Frame said he was purposely attacked in a situation where it was difficult to defend himself.

He said he suffered injuries including orbital and jawbone fractures and a bruised, scraped and bloodied face and head, as well as a concussion.

In the claim, he names his co-worker and employer for negligence in the assault.

He said the federal Crown failed to ensure he was safe from danger or harm. He cites a failure of adequate supervision, and claims that no employees were instructed or trained to intervene in the altercation and that no superiors were alerted to the potential for an altercation.

He said there was a failure to restrain the man who attacked him when his employer knew, or ought to have known, there was an intention to harm.

Since the attack, Frame said, he has suffered pain, emotional trauma, anxiety and humiliation.

He is seeking damages to cover medical costs, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, punitive and court costs.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

In July, HMCS Whitehorse was called home after allegations of bad behaviour while in the U.S. for naval exercises. In September, navy members were involved in an early- morning altercation outside a Victoria pub.

The navy is conducting reviews of such misconduct saying it wants to ensure its policies and procedures result in best behaviour on land and sea.

spetrescu@timescolonist.com

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